Take the 2-minute tour ×
Webmasters Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for pro webmasters. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Last year, I started a small blog on wordpress.com. Most of my blog posts are about computational statistics.

When I look at the site stats, I've noticed a number of strange incoming links. Usually, the links have been shortened using a url shortener and the same sites appear each day (although the shortened url is differs). The sites clearly have no external links to my blog and the topics are unrelated.

What's the purpose of these sites? Do they hope that I would link to them?

Example site - warning I don't know if this site is a security risk, since I visit them under linux with noscript running: www.iskandary.info

share|improve this question

3 Answers 3

up vote 5 down vote accepted

It's probably referrer spam.

Referrer spam (also known as log spam or referrer bombing) is a kind of spamdexing (spamming aimed at search engines). The technique involves making repeated web site requests using a fake referrer url that points to the site the spammer wishes to advertise. Sites that publicize their access logs, including referrer statistics, will then end up linking to the spammer's site, which will in turn be indexed by the search engines as they crawl the access logs.

This benefits the spammer because of the free link, and also gives the spammer's site improved search engine ranking due to link-counting algorithms that search engines use.

share|improve this answer
    
It didn't occur to me that sites would publicize their access logs. Thanks. –  csgillespie Apr 5 '11 at 17:57

There are any number of bots and crawlers that are going to hit your site. Sometimes these are going to be recognizable like the google bot, however, there are lots of spammers that are trolling around to comment on posts to build traffic for whatever reason. They could also be testing for vulnerabilities to exploit on your blog.

I'm sure that most of them are benign.

share|improve this answer

These are spam blogs. They are created automatically by bots aggregating content to boost their domain's ratings. Such domains are then sold for more money. What they basically do is:

  1. Leave spam comments on blogs that seem to be related thematically to keywords they try to capture. These comments are usually very general but sound natural, like "Hey! Great post, I did not know about this!". Since most blogs display URLs of people who comment, this automatically creates many links to their sites.
  2. Copy content from other blogs to seem legitimate. They usually link back to the original post, taking advantage of the trackbach mechanism. Many blogging tools, like Wordpress, will display trackback links in comment sections by default so this generates just another flood of links and at the same time everything seems like a legitimate link exchange.
share|improve this answer

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.